There have been another 6,874 cases of coronavirus recorded in the UK in the last 24 hours – another record increase for a single day.
Today’s figures are up marginally on yesterday, when there were 6,634 positive tests, and brings the total number of cases to 423,236.
It’s the second day in a row when the number of new cases announced is higher than at any point during the pandemic.
Having not seen 6,000 cases a day since early May, the country has now breached this threshold for three days in a row.
But scientists have warned a like-for-like comparison with the start of the outbreak isn’t possible because of the lack of testing early on.
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In March, it’s thought there may have been 100,000 new cases a day, while Matt Hancock said this week the likely figure at the moment is 10,000 a day.
Government stats showed there have been 34 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, although officials said this figure doesn’t include Scotland because of a power outage at the National Records of Scotland Office.
The deaths of 33 more people who tested positive for coronavirus and died in hospital in England have also been announced.
Patients were aged between 56 and 93 and all except two, aged 84 and 88, had known underlying health conditions. The deaths occurred between April 21 and September 24.
Elsewhere, Scotland, saw another record high number of cases, with 558 Scots testing positive.
Amid fears the virus is running rampant through student accommodation, Nicola Sturgeon backed disciplinary action being taken as a ‘last resort’ if those on campuses break the rules.
All Scottish students have been banned from going to the pub this weekend after big outbreaks in halls in Glasgow and Dundee.
The First Minister said that for those who are ‘flagrantly breaching rules, then of course discipline and enforcement has to be part of the answer’.
Extra police are being deployed on the streets of major cities to make sure pubs respect the 10pm curfew and stop large crowds gathering after last orders.
Meanwhile, two of Wales’ biggest cities are about to go in to lockdown, it was announced today.
There were a further 320 confirmed cases in the country – a decrease on previous days.
But Swansea and Cardiff will follow large parts of the south Wales into a strict lockdown on Sunday. People are being told not to enter or leave the cities, without a ‘reasonable excuse.’
Public Health Wales said three further deaths had been reported today, with the total since the beginning of the pandemic increasing to 1,609.
There have been 273 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland but no new deaths.
In another day of big changes, a local lockdown is expected to be announced for Leeds later. The 800,000 people living in the city will be told they aren’t allowed to visit other households, according to the council leader.
London’s rising number of cases has seen the capital city go onto the Government’s watchlist for the first time.
It means more restrictions could be on the way, unless the situation improves.
Crowds were seen flocking onto London’s streets and the Underground last night as pubs closed early for the first time due to the curfew.
The UK’s R rate – measuring how quickly coronavirus is spreading – is up once again from last week, it was confirmed earlier.
Data released by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R for the whole of the UK is now between 1.2 and 1.5.
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